Re: Decker's new book

#91
hi Mike,

you introduce here the text "Latin Asclepios" with ...
Decker's main new text is the Latin Asclepius.
It's totally not said in the thread, what this is. I assume, that it is this one ...
http://hermetic.com/texts/hermetica/
(by Mead).
... possibly not in your translation, cause I don't find your quotes.

Attempting with Google the quote, I get Brian Copenhaver ...
http://books.google.de/books?id=OVZP6b9 ... 22&f=false

... and indeed, you noted this name variously at the beginning of the thread (long ago).

There seems to be different opinions about the structure of the text. Mead gives 41 chapters for the Asclepios ... is this still so in Copenhaver? The online edition is not complete ...
And the Asclepios is part of a Corpus Hermetica, which contained 18 books or 17? (according wikipedia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermetica

And the whole is "somehow" that, what Cosimo di Medici got in 1463?

Well, it's a curious accident, that the number XLI (= 41) appears in a text, which was taken rather seriously in 1463 in Florence, and Florence started something like Minchiate at least in 1466 (Pulci's letter), which at least in its later versions had 41 "special cards" (but possibly already in c. 1463-1466).
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Decker's new book

#92
One of the themes of the hermetic influence, which followed 1463 , had been "magic by pictures and statues" ... (it's not, that I know, when precisely these ideas developed in the process).

Contemporary to 1463 (not precisely, but in a longer development) occurred a picture revolution, especially by the use of printing technologies (woodcut, copperplate engraving). There was a practical (not really magical) experience, what happens, when many people (more or less "everybody") were able to have sensual impressions with pictures, perhaps comparable to modern media revolutions with photography, movies, radio, tv, video-recorder, internet, mobile phone use, etc.
Good old Marshall McLuhan made the media observation and interpretation popular in the 1960s and 1970s ...

Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_McLuhan

Perhaps we have to understand "Marshall McLuhan and his theories" in view of the run of 15th century.Didn't he say something about the change from oral to visual perception with rather radical consequences?
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Decker's new book

#93
In your first post above, you asked some good questions, Huck. I knew some but not all of the answers. I hadn't noticed there were only seventeen tractates! And my previous post didn't make it easy to check what I was saying. Here are my answers:

The Latin Aesclepius was not part of the Corpus Hermeticum that was new to the West in the 15th century. It existed throughout the Middle Ages as part of the Apuleius corpus; it was assumed that Apuleius had translated it.

For the Asclepius, I was using the Copenhaver translation, as I should have said. Decker uses a different translation, by Scott, except in one case when he corrected it in a way that agrees with Copenhaver; so I mostly just used Copenhaver. However in a couple of cases, Decker had parenthetical comments in the middle of the quote (in brackets) or ellipses where he'd left things out. In these cases I used his version. But now I've gone back and added Copenhaver's version, just so you can find it in the context of the rest of the tractate in Copenhaver's translation.

The Aesclepius has 41 sections in the translations I've checked (Mead, Copenhaver).

The Corpus that Cosimo got and Ficino translated had 14 tractates and did not include the Aesclepius (Copenhaver Hermetica pp. xlviii-xlix, not in Google Books). Then later in the century other manuscripts came to Italy. Lazzarelli translated the "Definitiones", which since the 16th century has been numbered as the 16th tractate.

There was one section of the manuscripts, called the Suda, once thought to be part of the Corpus but soon identified as a short commentary written around the year 1000 (Copenhaver p. xli, not in Google Books). It was numbered as the 15th tractate. When it was removed, the parts after it weren't renumbered (Copenhaver xlix). There were two more, called the 17th and 18th. But there are only seventeen altogether: no 15th.

Reading what I wrote earlier, I see that I did not always give the section number when I referred to the Asclepius, I have added those to my post, in bold type, as well as giving the page number in Copenhaver and a link to my scan of the page if it is one that is not in Google Books.

I will have to think about your second post.

Re: Decker's new book

#94
Well ...

Wikipedia: "Hermetica"
The term particularly applies to the Corpus Hermeticum, Marsilio Ficino's Latin translation in fourteen tracts, of which eight early printed editions appeared before 1500 and a further twenty-two by 1641.[2] This collection, which includes the Pœmandres and some addresses of Hermes to disciples Tat, Ammon and Asclepius, was said to have originated in the school of Ammonius Saccas and to have passed through the keeping of Michael Psellus: it is preserved in fourteenth century manuscripts.[3] The last three tracts in modern editions were translated independently from another manuscript by Ficino's contemporary Lodovico Lazzarelli (1447–1500) and first printed in 1507.
The "Latin Asclepius" contains ALSO material to the persons "Tat, Ammon and Asclepius", so naturally, in the moment (1463), when the other texts got high attention in Florence, the Latin Asclepius, if the text was known to the acting persons, should have gained also interests. We have it printed as early as 1469 by the engagement of Bussi, though in Rome and not in Florence, very likely explained by the condition, that Florence had its first printed books later than Rome, in 1471.
see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernardo_Cennini
As far I get it, Ficino had his first printed book in 1471 (astonishingly in Treviso).

For the moment I've no answer, what's the way of the Latin Asclepius to the hands of Bussi in 1469. Perhaps the answer is here ...
http://books.google.de/books?id=fOq28aY ... &q&f=false
... but's that's only a preview text and not complete. A Brussels manuscript, about which I read at other place, that it had been from 9th century and that it contained the Asclepius (I hope, I got this right), might have played a greater role. Cusanus had it, and Bussi had been earlier with Cusanus (as the passage says).

I found a modern Jstor writer of the 1990s, who took the position, that the Latin Asclepius had been possibly indeed from Apuleius, what's almost mostly is considered an overcome assumption. As far I can judge, his arguments didn't look bad.
http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/1 ... 3287261553
************

There's a story of 42 (not 41) hermetic books, I looked up the source and found this at Clement of Alexandria (150 - 215), Stromata VI, chapter 4:
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/02106.htm

Chapter 4. The Greeks Drew Many of Their Philosophical Tenets from the Egyptian and Indian Gymnosophists

We shall find another testimony in confirmation, in the fact that the best of the philosophers, having appropriated their most excellent dogmas from us, boast, as it were, of certain of the tenets which pertain to each sect being culled from other Barbarians, chiefly from the Egyptians— both other tenets, and that especially of the transmigration of the soul. For the Egyptians pursue a philosophy of their own. This is principally shown by their sacred ceremonial. For first advances the Singer, bearing some one of the symbols of music. For they say that he must learn two of the books of Hermes, the one of which contains the hymns of the gods, the second the regulations for the king's life. And after the Singer advances the Astrologer, with a horologe in his hand, and a palm, the symbols of astrology. He must have the astrological books of Hermes, which are four in number, always in his mouth. Of these, one is about the order of the fixed stars that are visible, and another about the conjunctions and luminous appearances of the sun and moon; and the rest respecting their risings. Next in order advances the sacred Scribe, with wings on his head, and in his hand a book and rule, in which were writing ink and the reed, with which they write. And he must be acquainted with what are called hieroglyphics, and know about cosmography and geography, the position of the sun and moon, and about the five planets; also the description of Egypt, and the chart of the Nile; and the description of the equipment of the priests and of the places consecrated to them, and about the measures and the things in use in the sacred rites. Then the Stole-keeper follows those previously mentioned, with the cubit of justice and the cup for libations. He is acquainted with all points called Pædeutic (relating to training) and Moschophatic (sacrificial). There are also ten books which relate to the honour paid by them to their gods, and containing the Egyptian worship; as that relating to sacrifices, first-fruits, hymns, prayers, processions, festivals, and the like. And behind all walks the Prophet, with the water-vase carried openly in his arms; who is followed by those who carry the issue of loaves. He, as being the governor of the temple, learns the ten books called "Hieratic;" and they contain all about the laws, and the gods, and the whole of the training of the priests. For the Prophet is, among the Egyptians, also over the distribution of the revenues. There are then forty-two books of Hermes indispensably necessary; of which the six-and-thirty containing the whole philosophy of the Egyptians are learned by the forementioned personages; and the other six, which are medical, by the Pastophoroi (image-bearers),— treating of the structure of the body, and of diseases, and instruments, and medicines, and about the eyes, and the last about women. Such are the customs of the Egyptians, to speak briefly.

The philosophy of the Indians, too, has been celebrated. Alexander of Macedon, having taken ten of the Indian Gymnosophists, that seemed the best and most sententious, proposed to them problems, threatening to put to death him that did not answer to the purpose; ordering one, who was the eldest of them, to decide.

The first, then, being asked whether he thought that the living were more in number than the dead, said, The living; for that the dead were not. The second, on being asked whether the sea or the land maintained larger beasts, said, The land; for the sea was part of it. And the third being asked which was the most cunning of animals? The one, which has not hitherto been known, man. And the fourth being interrogated, For what reason they had made Sabba, who was their prince, revolt, answered, Because they wished him to live well rather than die ill. And the fifth being asked, Whether he thought that day or night was first, said, One day. For puzzling questions must have puzzling answers. And the sixth being posed with the query, How shall one be loved most? By being most powerful; in order that he may not be timid. And the seventh being asked, How any one of men could become God? Said, If he do what it is impossible for man to do. And the eighth being asked, Which is the stronger, life or death? Said, Life, which bears such ills. And the ninth being interrogated, Up to what point it is good for a man to live? Said, Till he does not think that to die is better than to live. And on Alexander ordering the tenth to say something, for he was judge, he said, "One spoke worse than another." And on Alexander saying, Shall you not, then, die first, having given such a judgment? He said, And how, O king, will you prove true, after saying that you would kill first the first man that answered very badly?

And that the Greeks are called pilferers of all manner of writing, is, as I think, sufficiently demonstrated by abundant proofs.


There's a partition 42 = 36 + 6 in this scheme, rather obviously an extension from 6 to 7, or 6+1 ... this 6+1 scheme is also used in Sepher-Yetzirah, where it is a cube with six sides and a center, though based on "32 ways of wisdom". The Egyptians instead had a system of 42 political and religious districts, 22 belonging to upper Egypt (along the river Nile), and 20 belonging to lower Egypt (the delta region). That's a plausible background for the "42 books".

*************
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Decker's new book

#95
There are 41 sections of the Asclepius, at least in the translations I've checked (Mead and Copenhaver). That is different from the legendary 42 books of Hermes. Here is the last page of Copenhaver: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Jwrl8laevM4/U ... aver92.JPG

As far as the availability of the Asclepius, for the Visconti-Sforza Library, Pelegrin, p. 438, has two index entries for Apuleius. One is his "Metamorphoses, A. 207; Vat. Lat. 2194". The other is '"Flores Apulegii", A. 217'. The Asclepius could be in either or neither, more likely the second. Unfortunately I don't haveall of Pellegrin's book book to look them up. Looking in the links you provided, I found nothing of interest in the Jstor article and only some references to check in the book. The best list of manuscripts is apparently in Klibansky and Regen's Die Handschriften der philosophischen Werke des Apuleius. Looking at snippets online, p. 48, I see that Boccaccio copied it (http://books.google.com.do/books?id=NYM ... s).Another possibility is Reynolds' Texts and Transmissions, which is available in a local library, and I will check tomorrow.

Re: Decker's new book

#96
Looking in Reynolds et al, Texts and Transmissions, I see that an 11th-12th century French manuscript of Pliny the Younger that had Apuleius's philosophical works in the back (of which the Asclepius was considered one) made it to Italy by the 14th century, possibly by way of Avignon. It is Laur. San Marco 284 and usually is referred to as ms. F (Reynolds et al p. 17).

One copy of manuscript F was bequeathed in 1338 by Simon of Arezzo to the Dominicans of his home town, Reynolds et al says (p. 318).

Another copy of just the Apuleius-philosophical-works part (including the Asclepius) of F combined it with Apuleius's other work, to make a whole Apuleius, Laur. 54.32, 14th century (Reynolds et al p. 18).

Another copy of F, Laur. S. Marco 341, was made in France in the 12th century and got to Italy, but they don't say when.

Ms. F itself managed to get into the personal library of Florence's celebrated humanist chancelor Salutati (deceased 1406 Florence) (Reynolds et al p. 318f). From it numerous copies were made. I'm not sure who had them, as the author refers us to R.A.B. Mynor's introduction to his edition of Pliny the Younger's Letters, and it is in Latin. I see a Strozzi ms., but that may be the later collector; Guarino da Verona's name is mentioned several times, and the date 1419. I can't tell whether this was just the Pliny or also the Apuleius.

No doubt copies were made that are no longer extant as well. I would expect Filelfo to have made a copy, even if it isn't listed; so it was likely everywhere the tarot was. There may have been other copies of the Asclepius in Italy as well. The book in German that I cited in my last post probably is a better source. But I see no reason to proceed further. There were plenty of copies of the Asclepius around.

Re: Decker's new book

#97
mikeh wrote:There are 41 sections of the Asclepius, at least in the translations I've checked (Mead and Copenhaver). That is different from the legendary 42 books of Hermes. Here is the last page of Copenhaver: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Jwrl8laevM4/U ... aver92.JPG

As far as the availability of the Asclepius, for the Visconti-Sforza Library, Pelegrin, p. 438, has two index entries for Apuleius. One is his "Metamorphoses, A. 207; Vat. Lat. 2194". The other is '"Flores Apulegii", A. 217'. The Asclepius could be in either or neither, more likely the second. Unfortunately I don't haveall of Pellegrin's book book to look them up. Looking in the links you provided, I found nothing of interest in the Jstor article and only some references to check in the book. The best list of manuscripts is apparently in Klibansky and Regen's Die Handschriften der philosophischen Werke des Apuleius. Looking at snippets online, p. 48, I see that Boccaccio copied it (http://books.google.com.do/books?id=NYM ... s).Another possibility is Reynolds' Texts and Transmissions, which is available in a local library, and I will check tomorrow.
Naturally 41 and 42 are different numbers, but in these mythological-cosmological contexts one can't be sure about it, cause number neighbors - for instance 64/63 (used in a story about Thot and the Hekat and the Horus eye), 49/50 (a favor of the old Greeks) or 29/30 (moon calendar) or 21/22 (the Tarot jungle) - often refer to the same context. For Minchiate we have as an example 41 or 42 cards in the Poilly Minchiate.

In the given context we have, that the Clement text presents 36 + 6 as the structure of this 42-books system, in Minchiate we have 1 (Fool) - 35 (1-35) - 5 (36-40; Aries). If we take the role of the Fool as an embedding principle - "the first and the last" - then we have suddenly 1-35-5-1 and the summary of this is 42, not 41, and this is structured (1+35) + (5+1), which in other words is then identical to 36+6 as given by Clement of Alexandria.

The Sicilian Tarot, which seems to have been influenced by Florentine ideas, has this double "embedding Fool" realized, there are 2 Fools (one lucky and the other poor) and 20 is the highest trump.

Naturally the 42 books of Clement and the 41 chapters of the Latin Asclepius are different sources, but both dance in front of the same Egyptian background, and Egypt - no doubt about this - loved this "42".
Wasn't it so, that Osiris reigned 28 years and was then cut in 14 pieces (28+14=42) by bad man Seth, and Isis collected the 14 parts, but had problem with the phallus (the 13+1 mystery, which then turned in the whole context to 41+1)?

****************

Well, if Apuleius (c 123-180) indeed wrote (or "translated") the Latin Asclepius, and the other texts were written around Ammonius Sakkas (teaching in 232 to 243), then the pupil "Ammon", who somehow is necessary to start the book in chapter 1 of the Latin Asclepius looks a little bit "constructed", or the name Ammonius was a pseudonym, taken in honor of the earlier master Apuleius or just generally Zeus Ammon, which was a modification of the old Egyptian god Amun.

Image


Alexander visited his oracle in the Lybian desert, after taking Egypt and before starting further great things, and this visit is generally given as a matter of great importance.
Alexander advanced on Egypt in later 332 BC, where he was regarded as a liberator.[84] He was pronounced the new "master of the Universe" and son of the deity of Amun at the Oracle of Siwa Oasis in the Libyan desert.[85] Henceforth, Alexander often referred to Zeus-Ammon as his true father, and subsequent currency depicted him adorned with rams horn as a symbol of his divinity.[86] During his stay in Egypt, he founded Alexandria-by-Egypt, which would become the prosperous capital of the Ptolemaic Kingdom after his death.[87]
Some time in this period the beginning of the year of the Greek was changed from from begin of autumn to begin of spring. Zeus with sheep horns (Aries) likely associates this then new year beginning in spring. The astronom Kalippos improved the 19-years-calendar by subtracting a day all 76 years in 330BC, so two years after Alexander visited the oracle.

Another story about the many books, that Hermes Trismegistos wrote, speaks of 36525 books.

Theurgia or The Egyptian Mysteries
By Iamblichos in Part VIII
http://hermetic.com/texts/theurgia.html
Hence, as Seleukos [1] describes, Hermes set forth the universal principles in two thousand scrolls, or as Manetho affirms, he explained them completely in thirty-six thousand five hundred and twenty-five treatises [2]. The different ancient writers, however, being in conflict with one another, have in many places given different interpretations in regard to the particular essence. It is necessary, however, to ascertain the truth in respect to them all, and then set it forth to thee concisely as we may be able.

[1] Seleukos is mentioned by Porphyry as a theologist and by Suidas as having written two hundred books in relation to the gods. By "scrolls" it is probable that only single discourses were meant, such as would now be given in a pamphlet.
[2] An Egyptian, Man-e-Thoth, or beloved Thoth. He was a priest at Sebennytus in the province of Sâis, in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphos, and compiled a history of ancient Egypt. This Number 36,525 is enigmatic, as it indicates by its analogy to the 365.25 days in a year.
b]36525[/b]
365.25 days is the time of the year without the later corrections in the year 1582 AD and 36525 years is the number of years in 25 Sothis-cycles, after which the old Egyptians recorded their time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sothic_cycle

The use of Manetho (= Man-e-Thot; about 600 years earlier), who used the number earlier, was different. As far I understood it, he recorded the history of Egypt in this dimension. This seems to have been interpreted by modern research as a number of months, not of years (36525/12), a technique, which found some critique, especially of groups with doubtful background (as I understood it).

Curiously 36 is 6x6; and 525 = 5x5x5x5 and (6x6) + 5 makes 41 ... but likely this doesn't mean anything. And 360 + 5 not-counted days (as they appear in the Egyptian again might be interpreted as ...

36 Egyptian decades + 5 not-counted days

... and this again makes "somehow" 41 (possible allegorical) figures, how one might interpret the Egyptian year with.

The 41 Minchiate cards contain 12 zodiacal signs, so 12 months (the Poilly Minchiate used more months than zodiac signs, and 12 months plus 30 days (as an average) again makes "42" now.

Image

Leo called "July" (Juillet)

***************

Here I find a text, which possibly solves the question about the authorship of the Latin Asclepius ...

Nag Hammadi
Nag Hammadi is best known for being the site where local farmers found a sealed earthenware jar containing thirteen leather-bound papyrus codices, together with pages torn from another book, in December 1945. The mother of the farmers burned one of the books and parts of a second (including its cover). Thus twelve of these books (one missing its cover) and the loose pages survive.[1] The writings in these codices, dating back to the 2nd century AD,[2] comprised 52 mostly Gnostic tractates, were found in a single grave site.
More info at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nag_Hammadi_library

Wiki states:
In his "Introduction" to The Nag Hammadi Library in English, James Robinson suggests that these codices may have belonged to a nearby Pachomian monastery, and were buried after Bishop Athanasius condemned the use of non-canonical books in his Festal Letter of 367 AD.
Well, empty hope, that it improves the situation, the year 367 is too late.

A translation is here: http://gnosis.org/naghamm/asclep.html

It seems, that somehow they recognized Asclepius 21-29 in Codex VI.

***********

I was puzzled about the name "Poimander" or "Poimandres", which - so a source - translates as "Menschenhirt" (man-shephard) ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poimandres
... another explanation uses an "Egyptian phrase Peime-nte-rê meaning "Knowledge of Re" or "Understanding of Re"" as the true meaning.

Skeptical, as I am, I searched for another possible "Poimander". I found a Poimandros, a king and city builder of Tanagra or Poimandria (named after the king).
The location, where Tanagra was build ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanagra
Pausanias mentions in Tanagra's location the ancient city of Graea, eponymous of the Graikoi, a Boeotian tribe whose name gave rise to the Latin Graecus "Greek". Homer, while reciting the Boeotian forces in the Iliad 's Catalogue of Ships, provides the first known reference to the Boeotian city of Graea.
Curious accident, that such an unknown location became the name-giver of a whole country population?

In "Deutschland", called Germany cause the old Germanen (Northern Germany) in England and Alemagne or similar in other locations cause the also rather populous Alemannen (Southern Germany; actually also counted as a part of the Kelten) the people call themselves "Deutsche", which is said to go back to a god Tuisto (according Tacitus), and nobody knows, who this really was.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuisto

In this case, Tacitus and his "Germania" might have played a deciding "name-giving" role, and possibly the case of the Greeks is similar, a "Roman decision", how this population should have been called.
Rome once had been winner, and the original tribes in that, what we call now Greece, were the losers.

This Greek Poimander or Poimandros has some mythological story, though not a big one.
In Greek mythology, Poemander (or Poimandros) was the son of Chaeresilaus (son of Iasius) and Stratonice. He was also the founder of Tanagra, which he named after the naiad Tanagra, his wife and the daughter of either Aeolus or Asopus. They had two sons, Leucippus and Ephippus, the father of Acestor.[1]

Poemander was besieged by the Achaeans in a place called Stephon, for having refused to support them in the Trojan war. At night, he managed to escape and began to fortify Poemandria. His fortifications, however, were made fun of by the architect Polycritus, who leaped over the ditch in derision. Poemander, outraged, threw a stone at him, but missed and hit his own son Leucippus instead, who died of the injury. For the murder, in accordance with the law, Poemander had to leave Boeotia, which was not easy for him, since the land of Tanagra had been invaded by the Achaeans; moreover, his mother Stratonice was carried off by Achilles, who also killed his grandson Acestor. But Ephippus, sent by Poemander to beg for aid, brought Achilles, Tlepolemus and Peneleos to his father; they escorted Poemander to Elephenor, who cleansed him for the murder of Leucippus.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poemander_%28mythology%29

The story of Poemander and the mockery spreading architect Polycritus sounds a little bit like the story of Romulus and Remus (that should have given Poimander some Roman sympathy).
Poimander didn't want to fight in Troja. As the Romans perceived themselves as "people from Troja" this was another point of sympathy.
Now the fight of Troja has the character of an "early foundation of a nation" for the Greek (which was lost after it, but naturally such ideas lived up occasionally, and especially, when Alexander had his great successes).

When the Romans proved, that they were stronger than the "Greeks" or those, who occupied the relevant space then, which is nowadays called Greece, it wasn't naturally not of interest, to have some rebellious nationalism living up in the region. Finding a good name, which didn't trigger such dangerous feelings, had been political strategy. Choosing "Graecus", a long lost identity, which didn't give too much modern identification, looks political clever for the relevant time.
As Graea, as Pausanias tells, means "old woman", there might have been also Roman mockery in the choice.

Now, what's the interest to revive the figure of "Poimander" a few centuries later? Egyptian-Greek resistance? The involvement of Greek-Egyptian heroes and gods like Hermes, Thot and Ammon somehow remembers the world of Alexander and the time of a great empire, then gone with the successful adventures of a once not so successful state of Rome. If we assume Ammonias Sakkas as the origin, he lived in Alexandria.

The mythological Poimander has a genealogy ... surely a point of interest.

Grand-grand-father: Eleuther, son of Apollo and Aethusa.[1] He is renowned for having an excellent singing voice, which earned him a victory at the Pythian games,[2] and for having been the first to erect a statue of Dionysus,[3] as well as for having given his name to Eleutherae.[4] His sons were Iasius[5] and Pierus.[3] He also had several daughters, who spoke impiously of the image of Dionysus wearing a black aegis, and were driven mad by the god; as a remedy, Eleuther, in accordance with an oracle, established a cult of "Dionysus of the Black Aegis"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleuther

Grand-father: Iasius
Parents: Chaeresilaus - Stratonice (carried off by Achilles; not much of interest)
Poimander

I looked up Pausanias 9.20, which is given as a source:

http://www.theoi.com/Text/Pausanias9A.html
TANAGRA

[9.20.1] XX. Within the territory of Tanagra is what is called Delium on Sea. In it are images of Artemis and Leto. The people of Tanagra say that their founder was Poemander, the son of Chaeresilaus, the son of Iasius, the son of Eleuther, who, they say, was the son of Apollo by Aethusa, the daughter of Poseidon. It is said that Poemander married Tanagra, a daughter of Aeolus. But in a poem of Corinna she is said to be a daughter of Asopus.

[9.20.2] There is a story that, as she reached extreme old age, her neighbors ceased to call her by this name, and gave the name of Graea (old woman), first to the woman herself, and in course of time to the city. The name, they say, persisted so long that even Homer says in the Catalogue:–

Thespeia, Graea, and wide Mycalessus. Hom. Il. 2.498

Later, however, it recovered its old name.

[9.20.3] There is in Tanagra the tomb of Orion, and Mount Cerycius, the reputed birthplace of Hermes, and also a place called Polus. Here they say that Atlas sat and meditated deeply upon hell and heaven, as Homer20 says of him:–

Daughter of baneful Atlas, who knows the depths
Of every sea, while he himself holds up the tall pillars,
Which keep apart earth and heaven. Hom. Od. 1.152


[9.20.4] In the temple of Dionysus the image too is worth seeing, being of Parian marble and a work of Calamis. But a greater marvel still is the Triton. The grander of the two versions of the Triton legend relates that the women of Tanagra before the orgies of Dionysus went down to the sea to be purified, were attacked by the Triton as they were swimming, and prayed that Dionysus would come to their aid. The god, it is said, heard their cry and overcame the Triton in the fight.

[9.20.5] The other version is less grand but more credible. It says that the Triton would waylay and lift all the cattle that were driven to the sea. He used even to attack small vessels, until the people of Tanagra set out for him a bowl of wine. They say that, attracted by the smell, he came at once, drank the wine, flung himself on the shore and slept, and that a man of Tanagra struck him on the neck with an axe and chopped off his head. for this reason the image has no head. And because they caught him drunk, it is supposed that it was Dionysus who killed him.

[9.21.1] XXI. I saw another Triton among the curiosities at Rome, less in size than the one at Tanagra. The Tritons have the following appearance. On their heads they grow hair like that of marsh frogs not only in color, but also in the impossibility of separating one hair from another. The rest of their body is rough with fine scales just as is the shark. Under their ears they have gills and a man's nose; but the mouth is broader and the teeth are those of a beast. Their eyes seem to me blue, and they have hands, fingers, and nails like the shells of the murex. Under the breast and belly is a tail like a dolphin's instead of feet.

[Just my remark ....
Image

A Triton?]
ON FABULOUS ANIMALS

[9.21.2] I saw also the Ethiopian bulls, called rhinoceroses owing to the fact that each has one horn (ceras) at the end of the nose (rhis), over which is another but smaller one, but there is no trace of horns on their heads. I saw too the Paeonian bulls, which are shaggy all over, but especially about the chest and lower jaw. I saw also Indian camels with the color of leopards.

[9.21.3] There is also a beast called the elk, in form between a deer and a camel, which breeds in the land of the Celts. Of all the beasts we know it alone cannot be tracked or seen at a distance by man; sometimes, however, when men are out hunting other game they fall in with an elk by luck. Now they say that it smells man even at a great distance, and dashes down into ravines or the deepest caverns. So the hunters surround the plain or mountain in a circuit of at least a thousand stades, and, taking care not to break the circle, they keep on narrowing the area enclosed, and so catch all the beasts inside, the elks included. But if there chance to be no lair within, there is no other way of catching the elk.

[9.21.4] The beast described by Ctesias in his Indian history, which he says is called martichoras by the Indians and man-eater by the Greeks, I am inclined to think is the tiger. But that it has three rows of teeth along each jaw and spikes at the tip of its tail with which it defends itself at close quarters, while it hurls them like an archer's arrows at more distant enemies; all this is, I think, a false story that the Indians pass on from one to another owing to their excessive dread of the beast.

[9.21.5] They were also deceived about its color, and whenever the tiger showed itself in the light of the sun it appeared to be a homogeneous red, either because of its speed, or, if it were not running, because of its continual twists and turns, especially when it was not seen at close quarters. And I think that if one were to traverse the most remote parts of Libya, India or Arabia, in search of such beasts as are found in Greece, some he would not discover at all, and others would have a different appearance.

[9.21.6] For man is not the only creature that has a different appearance in different climates and in different countries; the others too obey the same rule. For instance, the Libyan asps have a different colors compared with the Egyptian, while in Ethiopia are bred asps quite as black as the men. So everyone should be neither over-hasty in one's judgments, nor incredulous when considering rarities. For instance, though I have never seen winged snakes I believe that they exist, as I believe that a Phrygian brought to Ionia a scorpion with wings exactly like those of locusts.

[9.22.1] XXII. Beside the sanctuary of Dionysus at Tanagra are three temples, one of Themis, another of Aphrodite, and the third of Apollo; with Apollo are joined Artemis and Leto. There are sanctuaries of Hermes Ram-bearer and of Hermes called Champion. They account for the former surname by a story that Hermes averted a pestilence from the city by carrying a ram round the walls; to commemorate this Calamis made an image of Hermes carrying a ram upon his shoulders. Whichever of the youths is judged to be the most handsome goes round the walls at the feast of Hermes, carrying a lamb on his shoulders.

[9.22.2] Hermes Champion is said, on the occasion when an Eretrian fleet put into Tanagra from Euboea, to have led out the youths to the battle; he himself, armed with a scraper like a youth, was chiefly responsible for the rout of the Euboeans. In the sanctuary of the Champion is kept all that is left of the wild strawberry-tree under which they believe that Hermes was nourished. Near by is a theater and by it a portico. I consider that the people of Tanagra have better arrangements for the worship of the gods than any other Greeks. For their houses are in one place, while the sanctuaries are apart beyond the houses in a clear space where no men live.

[9.22.3] Corinna, the only lyric poetess of Tanagra, has her tomb in a, conspicuous part of the city, and in the gymnasium is a painting of Corinna binding her head with a fillet for the victory she won over Pindar at Thebes with a lyric poem. I believe that her victory was partly due to the dialect she used, for she composed, not in Doric speech like Pindar, but in one Aeolians would understand, and partly to her being, if one may judge from the likeness, the most beautiful woman of her time.

[9.22.4] Here there are two breeds of cocks, the fighters and the blackbirds, as they are called. The size of these blackbirds is the same as that of the Lydian birds, but in color they are like crows, while wattles and comb are very like the anemone. They have small, white markings on the end of the beak and at the end of the tail.


I also looked up Plutarch, Greek questions 37 ... the second source for Poimandros
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... ction%3D37
Why do the people of Tanagra have before their city an Achilleum, that is, a place bearing this name? For it is related that Achilles actually had more enmity than friendship for the city, since he carried off Stratonicê, the mother of Poemander, and slew Acestor, the son of Ephippus.1

While the territory of Tanagra was still inhabited in village communities, Poemander, the father of Ephippus, had been besieged by the Achaeans in the place called Stephon, because of his unwillingness to join their expedition.2 But he abandoned that stronghold by night and fortified Poemandria.3 [p. 221] Polycrithus the master-builder, however, who was present, spoke slightingly of the fortifications and, in derision, leaped over the moat. Poemander was enraged and hastened to throw at him a great stone which had been hidden there from ancient days, set aside for use in the ritual of the Nyctelia.4 This stone Poemander snatched up in his ignorance, and hurled. He missed Polycrithus, but slew his son Leucippus. According to the law, therefore, he had to depart from Boeotia and become a suppliant at a stranger's hearth. But this was not easy, since the Achaeans had invaded the territory of Tanagra. Accordingly he sent his son Ephippus to appeal to Achilles. Ephippus, by his persuasive words, brought to his father Achilles, as well as Tlepolemus, the son of Heracles, and Peneleös, the son of Hippalcmas, all of them interrelated. Poemander was escorted by them to Chalcis, and there at the house of Elephenor he was purified of the murder. Therefore he honoured these heroes and set apart sacred precincts for them all, and of these the precinct of Achilles has still kept its name.


Ho, a good finding ...
Note 4 (Nyctelia): These rites resembled those of the rending and resurrection of Osiris; cf. Moralia 367 f.
Egyptian Osiris cult in the heart of Greece.
But elsewhere I find the idea, that Nyctelia were night festivities of the Bacchus cult. Bacchus is said to have had the surname Nyctelius.
I'd no luck with the reference "Moralia 367f."

Under Wiki: Graea I find the opinion ...
If men from Oropos-Graia were among the early Greek visitors to Capua or Veii and even early Rome, we can better understand an age-old puzzle: why Greeks were called "Greeks" in the Latin West. Such people told their first contacts in the Latin region that they were "Graikoi," that is, people from Graia. They were thus called "Graeci" by the people whom they met.[4]


Unluckily Tanagra lies at a position (North of Athen), where it is rather far from Italy. Not very likely, that this is a good solution for "an age-old puzzle".

Well, there's more to say ...
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Decker's new book

#98
Huck wrote
Here I find a text, which possibly solves the question about the authorship of the Latin Asclepius ...

Nag Hammadi
Nag Hammadi is best known for being the site where local farmers found a sealed earthenware jar containing thirteen leather-bound papyrus codices, together with pages torn from another book, in December 1945. The mother of the farmers burned one of the books and parts of a second (including its cover). Thus twelve of these books (one missing its cover) and the loose pages survive.[1] The writings in these codices, dating back to the 2nd century AD,[2] comprised 52 mostly Gnostic tractates, were found in a single grave site.
More info at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nag_Hammadi_library

Wiki states:
In his "Introduction" to The Nag Hammadi Library in English, James Robinson suggests that these codices may have belonged to a nearby Pachomian monastery, and were buried after Bishop Athanasius condemned the use of non-canonical books in his Festal Letter of 367 AD.
Well, empty hope, that it improves the situation, the year 367 is too late.

A translation is here: http://gnosis.org/naghamm/asclep.html

It seems, that somehow they recognized Asclepius 21-29 in Codex VI.
About the Coptic version of the Asclepius, from the structure of the Coptic scholars can tell that its original was in Greek. Also, Lactantius quoted lines in Greek from the Asclepius. I guess that Apuleius's Latin text could have been translated into Greek by someone; I don't know if scholars can tell for sure if a text in Latin is a translation from a Greek original rather than the other way around, but most think that the Latin is a translation of the Greek.

Robinson writes about this tractate, the 8th of Codex VI (Nag Hammadi Library in English 1988 p. 330):
The Hermetic tractate Asclepius was composed in Greek but exists in complete form only in a Latin translation. It was originally called The Perfect teaching. VI,8 is a Coptic translation of a large selection from the middle portion of the tractate. It differs from the Latin at many points, but is still recognizably from the same source as the Latin because of the similarity of contents and the way they are ordered. Two Greek passages from the middle section of Asclepius have survived, and VI,8 is stylistically closer to them than to the rather expansive and rhetorical Latin.
About the particular part that is in Coptic, an apocalypse, Robinson adds (pp. 330f):
Some have held that the apocalypse was originally a Jewish writing, while others suggest that it was originally Egyptian because of the greater number and antiquity of these parallels. The two concepts need not be mutually exclusive in view of the large, ancient and literarily active Jewish community in Egypt.

Re: Decker's new book

#99
Well, we're far away from the actual topic "Decker's new book".
mikeh wrote:Looking in Reynolds et al, Texts and Transmissions, I see that an 11th-12th century French manuscript of Pliny the Younger that had Apuleius's philosophical works in the back (of which the Asclepius was considered one) made it to Italy by the 14th century, possibly by way of Avignon. It is Laur. San Marco 284 and usually is referred to as ms. F (Reynolds et al p. 17).

One copy of manuscript F was bequeathed in 1338 by Simon of Arezzo to the Dominicans of his home town, Reynolds et al says (p. 318).

Another copy of just the Apuleius-philosophical-works part (including the Asclepius) of F combined it with Apuleius's other work, to make a whole Apuleius, Laur. 54.32, 14th century (Reynolds et al p. 18).

Another copy of F, Laur. S. Marco 341, was made in France in the 12th century and got to Italy, but they don't say when.

Ms. F itself managed to get into the personal library of Florence's celebrated humanist chancelor Salutati (deceased 1406 Florence) (Reynolds et al p. 318f). From it numerous copies were made. I'm not sure who had them, as the author refers us to R.A.B. Mynor's introduction to his edition of Pliny the Younger's Letters, and it is in Latin. I see a Strozzi ms., but that may be the later collector; Guarino da Verona's name is mentioned several times, and the date 1419. I can't tell whether this was just the Pliny or also the Apuleius.

No doubt copies were made that are no longer extant as well. I would expect Filelfo to have made a copy, even if it isn't listed; so it was likely everywhere the tarot was. There may have been other copies of the Asclepius in Italy as well. The book in German that I cited in my last post probably is a better source. But I see no reason to proceed further. There were plenty of copies of the Asclepius around.
Thanks for your work on this question.

But if we come to the conclusion, that the Florentine team, which worked 1463 on the translation (either with money, general support, discussions in the Platonic academy, Ficino stood not alone), MUST have known about the Latin Asclepius, then it's possibly just the Latin Asclepius, which had prepared the great excitement, which occurred in 1463, when the other texts appeared. And we have the situation, that the Latin Asclepios with its 41 chapter had a climax of interest just then, when Minchiate, which at least later had 41 special cards, likly was developed.

As the text had been in Latin, Ficino naturally wasn't urged to translate it from Greek to Latin, so these 15th or 18th part went to the background (I don't have an idea, where Lazzarelli got the other 3 texts from, actually the Hermetica hadn't been my focus).

... :-) ... maybe it's good to have a naive understanding of it.

Hanegraaf in "Sympathy to the devil" ...
http://www.esoteric.msu.edu/VolumeII/Sympdevil.html
... embarks on two magical passages in the (Latin) Asclepios, the 'so-called "god-making" passages'. These are "mentioned only in chapters 23-24 and 37-38. The rest of the Asclepius contains little that might be associated with magic or idolatry." (Footnote 1)

Wkipedia ("Hermetica" )gives the info "The last three tracts in modern editions were translated independently from another manuscript by Ficino's contemporary Lodovico Lazzarelli (1447–1500) and first printed in 1507.

Searching "Lazzarelli 1507" I get this ...
http://books.google.de/books?id=V5DMa7e ... 07&f=false

Image


Image


... where we are informed, that the three additional parts added by Lazzarelli were one, and this part was missing for Ficino. Also we get as a sidepath the info, that in 1507 it was suspected, that the "wicked magician Apuleius" was suspected to have added "something magical", which made the Latin Asclepios so dangerous.
The reduced and not dangerous Latin Asclepios made it then possible, that France developed an "acceptable Hermetism", at least for some time (as far I understand it).

Stays for me the question, where Lazzarelli got his ("complete") version from.

I capture "Discourse XV is composed of three fragments which are derived from the Johannes Stobaeus anthology"
from http://archive.is/5w7mq ....
and for Johannes Stobaeus I get ..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stobaeus

Another nice summary ...
Image

http://books.google.de/books?id=Aq7JvbR ... 07&f=false

... and ...
Image

http://books.google.com.mt/books?id=aOA ... 22&f=false

... gives an impression, how many Ficino versions were on the way in the 1460s.

But still I'm not really satisfied.

*************

In the texts sometime is spoken from Pymander or Pimander, I don't know, for which reason.

For Poimander amd Poimandros and Tanagra I've the interesting detail, that the city of Tanagra during 4th century BC (that's Alexander's time) and likely also at other times had some fame for creating terracotta figures.

"Tanagra" at the images-function of Google.com leads to a lot of them ....

Image

http://blog.legardemots.fr/post/2007/10/18/Tanagra

... that's only an example.

Reviving statues to magical items became a scandalous theme for the Poimander&co texts. Is this accidental?

When Alexander took Persia and other regions, then it had naturally economical consequences. Greek terracotta figures might have been a major export article, It was a natural aim to export Greek religions.

European imperialism exported missionaries ... that was a rather similar action.

Tanagra was the name of the wife of Poimandros. And so it became a city name.

"Tanagra" seems to have become a synonym for such figures, similar as "Fayence" is at least in Germany a name for ceramic in Faenza style.
The name "Mercedes" for this special sort of car, came from a daughter of Emil Jellinek, who had some involvement in the early car production of car producer Benz (who gave his name for "Benzin", the German expression for the "gas or petrol" for automobiles in English).
Such sort of name giving might be rather similar to that, what happened to Tanagra and Poimander.

Image

Mercedes Jellinek (* 1889, c. 1902)
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Decker's new book

#100
Huck wrote
But if we come to the conclusion, that the Florentine team, which worked 1463 on the translation (either with money, general support, discussions in the Platonic academy, Ficino stood not alone), MUST have known about the Latin Asclepius, then it's possibly just the Latin Asclepius, which had prepared the great excitement, which occurred in 1463, when the other texts appeared. And we have the situation, that the Latin Asclepios with its 41 chapter had a climax of interest just then, when Minchiate, which at least later had 41 special cards, likly was developed.

As the text had been in Latin, Ficino naturally wasn't urged to translate it from Greek to Latin, so these 15th or 18th part went to the background (I don't have an idea, where Lazzarelli got the other 3 texts from, actually the Hermetica hadn't been my focus).

... :-) ... maybe it's good to have a naive understanding of it.

Hanegraaf in "Sympathy to the devil" ...
http://www.esoteric.msu.edu/VolumeII/Sympdevil.html
... embarks on two magical passages in the (Latin) Asclepios, the 'so-called "god-making" passages'. These are "mentioned only in chapters 23-24 and 37-38. The rest of the Asclepius contains little that might be associated with magic or idolatry." (Footnote 1)
Hanegraaff does a good job explaining the importance of the "godmaking' passage for his "Crater Hermetis". But in quoting from the latter, he leaves out some important material, that is, what Lazzarelli says about how he thinks" god making" is done. It is in a poem that Hanagraaff in "Sympathy or the Devil" quotes some of:
This is certainly the newest novelty of novelties
and a greater miracle than all others
that man has discovered the nature of God [36]
and knows how to make it

For just as the Lord or God the begetter (genitor)
generates the celestials and procreates the angels
who are the forms of things, the heads [37]
and first examples of all,

just so the true man creates divine souls (divas animas)
which the ancient host used to call gods of the earth,
who are glad to live close to human beings
and rejoice at the welfare of man.
____________________________
36 Notice that Lazzarelli speaks of 'naturam Dei', instead of 'divinam naturam' (Asclepius 37).
37 Cf. Asclepius 23: 'deorum genus omnium confessione manifestum est de mundissima parte naturae esse prognatum signaque eorum sola quasi capita pro omnibus esse' (Nock & Festugière [ 1946] comment that 'signa' means "astral forms", which are like heads without body, while the statues of gods (species deorum) fabricated by man depict the whole body).
In "Sympathy or the Devil" Hanegraaff leaves out the rest, where Lazzarelli says what these souls are and how they are to be created (Lodovico Lazzarelli (1447-1500): The Hermetic Wrings and Related Documents p. 255):
They give prophetic dreams, they offer help
to man's need, they punish the godless,
and splendidly reward the pious,
Thus they fulfill the command of God the Father.

They overcome the trials of fate
and chase away destructive illness,
thereby fulfilling the words of the prophets.
They create the Word of God. [207] (Hi verbum faciunt Dei.)

That is why the Begetter has given man
a mind like his own, and speech, [208]
that he, like the gods, may bring forth gods,
fulfilling the decrees of the Father.

Most happy is he that knows the gifts of fate;
he will gladly fulfill it,
for he is to be reckoned among the gods,
he is not inferior to the gods above.
____________________
207. A less daring translation would be "They speak the Word of God," but the context (cf. next couplet) suggests that Lazarelli has something stronger in mind.
208. Cr. Crater Hemetis 25.3 with n. 188.
So now I have to give 25.3 and n. 188. This part is in prose, Lazzarelli addressing King Ferrante (Ferdinandus) (Hanegraaff p. 145, 147):
Because the human mind is the image of the first mind, it has received from the latter not only fertility, but also immortality: these two main gifts are given by that mind itself to its image, that is to say, to the word. That is why Hermes says that the mind and the word are as precious as immortality and why he admonishes us that whoever uses these gifts the way he should is in no way different from the immortals--he even says that through them he is finally brought into the choirs of the blessed. (188) These two things combined, Your Majesty, bring forth a divine offspring.
________________
188. C.H. XII.12 indeed states that God has granted to mankind (but not to any other mortal animal) two things, i.e. "mind and reasoned speech, which are worth as much as immortality" (Cop. 45), and continues by saying that the man who uses these gifts as he should will not be distinguished in anything from the immortals. Ficino's translation is faithful to the meaning of the original [I omit Ficino's Latin translation.] But notice how Lazzarelli manipulates his audience by suggesting that the "two main gifts" are fertility and immortality. This statement is not at all supported by the hermetic reference, but the way Lazzarelli presents his case suggests that it does.
So the created souls are much like the spirits which exist between humanity and the gods of which Socrates had spoken in the Symposium, and which the Asclepius had said could be persuaded to descend into statues. But Lazzarelli is saying something different: they are actually created by man, just as God had created man, through speech. He probably has in mind something like Abulafia's permutations of the letters of the alphabet.

So it is by way of Abulafian Kabbalah, which Lazzarelli seems, according to Edel, to have first known from contact with Pico's mentor Alemanno almost 20 years before Pico learned Kabbalah from the same source. Interestingly for you (although I have yet to see its relevance), Lazzarelli quotes from a commentary on the Sefer Yetzirah, something Pico barely mentions. Over at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=988#p14771 I wrote:
Moshe Idel has argued that a quotation in Lazzarelli's "Crater Hermetis" points to Yohanan Alemanno's manuscript collection of Kabbalist writings, and that since they were both in Padua in the 1460s they probably knew each other (Hanegraaff, Ludovico Lazzarelli: The Hermetic Writings and Related Documents, p. 86ff).
Hanagraaff explains Idel's point in "Sympathy or the Devil" (find the word "Moshe"); there is no point in my repeating it here.

Idel has written extensively on Alemanno, who is probably as important for understanding Ficino and Pico as for Lazzarelli. See for example http://books.google.com/books?id=IYKBAc ... no&f=false

At the end of the same post as the previous quote from myself (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=988#p14771) I have what I think is a good timeline for Lazzarelli's life, drawn from various parts of Hanagraaff's book. That book supersedes Lancilotti and others, a fine piece of work.

In the next post, viewtopic.php?f=11&t=988&p=14772#p14772, I say what I have already said here and go on to discuss the alchemical version of the same point. That, too, might be relevant, because just at this same time, the 1460s a 14th century alchemical work is being chosen for copying, one of those in the Brera Exhibition, probably for the Camaldolese that Ficino was beginning to lecture to, or another Benedictine monastery near Florence. I discuss that work in the post following the one just cited, viewtopic.php?f=11&t=988&p=14772#p14775.

So the Asclepius is just the tip of the iceberg, or perhaps I should say, the center of the storm.

In the Definitiones, the tractate that Lazzarelli translated, there is an interesting sentence, in section 17 (out of 19):
Around the sun are the eight spheres that depend from it: the sphere of the fixed stars, the six of the planets, and the one that surrounds the earth.
Not bad, for Greco-Egyptian magicians. I suppose the young Copernicus read this part.

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